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Acres Consultancy has sponsored Andrea Williams, a student studying for the Foundation Degree in Kitchen Design at Buckinghamshire New University.

Andrea funded herself through the first year of the course and is delighted to have received a financial contribution towards the second year of her course from Acres Consultancy.

“I am grateful to Acres Consultancy for their contribution,” says Andrea. “Having completed the first year of the course, I am determined to complete it and fulfil my dream of becoming a kitchen designer. This financial contribution is a great help.”
Principle director Simon Acres says, “We are delighted to support Andrea with her degree. As a new business dedicated to training and education in the industry, we wanted to show our commitment to working with others that promote qualifications and training for our industry, as TKET do with Bucks University.”

Andrea works at Design a Space, a retail business which has two kitchen and interior showrooms in Bucks, and in addition to distance learning, takes time out to attend three long weekend residential sessions each academic year at the university.

Andrea says, “It is a great way to learn, I benefit from learning with industry experts that share how they approach projects and develop imaginative designs. I feel the course is giving me a comprehensive understanding of the industry, is broadening my product knowledge and is inspiring me to become a highly skilled designer.”

SMWF has marked National Apprenticeship Week with an inaugural apprenticeship award.

Rt Hon Claire Perry, Member of Parliament for the Devizes Constituency, presented the award to Kyle Smith at a ceremony held at the Smallbone workshop in Devizes on Friday 01 March.

The award was established to nurture the next generation of furniture makers and is open to all apprentices undertaking the apprenticeship programme with SMWF.

Kyle Smith’s dressing table was chosen as the winner based on the function and aesthetics of Kyle’s design as well as the quality of the original CAD drawing, his written work and the ability to work to deadlines.

Claire Perry said, “It was a pleasure and honour to be part of the award ceremony today, ahead of National Apprenticeship Week. Local businesses like Smallbone are such a vital and vibrant part of our community, providing jobs and supporting the next generation of skilled workers and I am very proud that SMWF craftsmanship from Devizes is so highly regarded across the world.”

Ian Gray added, “Congratulations to Kyle Smith, he is a worthy winner. This award recognises those, like Kyle that have excelled and sets a benchmark for those that follow.

“We are extremely proud of the programme and our commitment to maintaining traditional craftsmanship and furniture making skills. With three generations of furniture maker in the Devizes workshop, we hope this award will help us to maintain this tradition.”

Kyle wins a handcrafted award along with a cash prize of £1,000. Two Runner up awards were made to Josh Scott for his shoe cupboard and Harley Woodman for his chest of drawers. They both received a highly commended certificate and gift voucher.

The three finalists were selected from 13 entries, judged by; senior SMWF designer- Jai Godwin, SMWF special projects director- Iain O’Mahony and SMWF senior R&D carpenter – Andy Saunders, along with John Gibson- MD at national training provider, Didac.


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